Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant J A B Barlowe - died 16/07/1919

19th Royal Irish Rifles - service number 17230

Only son of James A Barlowe of Dundiven, Craigavad, Belfast and the late Martha Barlowe. Serjeant Barlowe died on 16th July 1919 at the age of 23 and is buried in Donaghendry Church of Ireland Churchyard, Stewartstown, County Tyrone, on the North side of the church.

The 19th Royal Irish Rifles were formed in Newcastle, County Down, and remained in Ireland and England for the duration of the war.

Lieutenant Trevor Moutray Bennet MC - died 10/11/1916

Royal Flying Corps 70th Sqn, Secondary Regiment 10th Royal Irish Rifles

Trevor was the son of James Bennet, a retired banker, of 1 Chlorine Place, University Road, Belfast, and Catherine Adeline Bennet. He was born on 5th February 1897 in Belavon, Belmont, Belfast. Before Inst, he attended Methodist College, Belfast.

He was working in the linen trade, and joined the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1913, followed by the Ulster Division on its formation. He was gazetted to Second lieutenant on 22nd September 1914 and promoted to Lieutenant the following year, serving in France and Flanders from October 1915.

He took part in the advance on Thiepval on 1st July 1916, and before becoming attached to the RFC in September, was awarded the Military Cross. The citation, published in the London Gazette on 20th October 1916, reads as follows -

"For conspicuous gallantry in action when his platoon suffered heavy casualties, he rallied all available men and got them forward into the enemy's lines' Later, when put in charge of an attack, he reached his objective, consolidated it and held it against repeated bombing attacks."

He was killed in aerial combat on 10th November 1916 while flying a Fienvillers Sopwith 1 Strutter. Lt Morton Allport of the RFC was also killed in the incident. The plane came down behind the German lines. He was 19 years old.

Major Laurence, RFC, wrote "he was just the sort of fellow we want. He had taken very quickly to the work, and had made a very keen and good observer. He was always so cheery and willing too, and we shall all miss him very much. He was a fine brave boy, and I shall always think of him with admiration."

Captain Vancour, RFC wrote, "it was a frightful blow to us all when your son went down, for he was the most popular in the mess, and we all thought a great deal of him. He was always so cheery and full of life and such a plucky little fellow.

Major Gordon, 2nd in command, 10th Royal Irish Rifles, after the fighting at Thiepval, wrote "Under the most difficult circumstances and murderous fire, he behaved with coolness and gallantry for two whole days and nights, in spite of his being the only officer left in the company. I am sure you will feel proud of him, as we all do."

He was originally buried where he was found, to the south east of Bapaume, in a spot described as "a few yards west of the Rocquigny-Le-Mesnil road and a few yards north of the railway, close to the point where the railway cuts the road."

Trevor was subsequently reburied in Hermies Hill British Cemetery (ref. I A 5), Pas De Calais, France.


Second Lieutenant John Alexander Paterson Bill - died 16/08/1917

18th Royal Irish Rifles (attached 12th)

John was born on 8th July 1895, in Edinburgh, the son of Samuel Alexander and Grace Bill, who were missionaries. Their address when John died is given as Mission House, Qua Oboe, Southern Nigeria. John entered Inst in January 1907 aged 11. In 1910 he briefly left to board at a school in Cavan, Ireland. While at Inst, he was a member of both the cricket and rugby first XVs, until an accident cut short his sporting career. He also took part in the school "dramatic entertainments".

John was a student at Queen's University, Belfast, when he enlisted and living in University Street, Belfast. While at Queen's, he was awarded the Drennan Exhibition, awarded to the First Literary Scholar of Inst students in their first year.  His intention was to follow his father as a missionery in Qua Oboe, until he enlisted, originally joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, but then transferring to the Royal Irish Rifles in 1915.

John died, along with many of his comrades, on 16th August 1917 as part of the Battle of Langemarck (3rd Ypres). He was 22 years old. Two of his fellow officers reported the following -

2nd Lt Branningan - "Mr Bill was hit before he got right over and his body was seen in front of our wire. Mr Bill was a great friend of mine."

2nd Lt Stokes - "This officer was last seen about map ref. D 19 b 10 90. He was lying on the ground apparently wounded in the groin or lower abdomen. Rfn Matthews went out to dress him but was himself killed in the act of doing so, and it is supposed that the same bullet also hit Mr Bill. The men had by this time started coming back and Mr Bill was left behind apparently very seriously wounded."

The location identified is very close to Gallipoli Farm, just to the south of the Wieltje - Gravenstafel road. John's body was lost and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panel 138-140), Flanders, Belgium.

Second Lieutenant Ernest George Boas - died 1/7/1916

5th Royal Irish Rifles (attached 13th)

Ernest was born on 14th June 1897, the son of Ernest A Boas and Maud L. Boas. He was living at 7 College Gardens and working in his father's linen business, the Loopbridge Weaving Factory, Belfast, when he enlisted. He was educated at Campbell College, Belfast, and Clifton College, Bristol as well as Inst, and was also a member of the Queen's University Officer Training Corps. He obtained his commission in the Special Reserve of Officers in June 1915, and had only been with the 13th Battalion for three weeks before his death.

He was killed on the First Day of the Somme, aged 19. Sgt Arnold of the Royal Irish Rifles reported -

"At 7.30 am, on the 1st July 1916, at Thiepval Wood, I advanced with No 3 Platoon 13th Royal Irish Rifles, of which 2nd Lt Boas was in command. Between the 2nd and 3rd trenches, I found 2nd Lt Boas lying in a communication trench, as he was my platoon officer I recognized him at once. He must have been hit by hand grenades as they were landing very thick and we lost a lot of men at that place. I believed him to be dead as he never move or spoke, but I put him on the fire step and then advanced on; when we retired back 2nd Lt Boas was not lying where we left him, and the trench had been blown in, in two or three places; he could not have been taken prisoner as no Germans except prisoners under escort got through and I firmly believe he was blown to pieces by a shell. I should like to state that 2nd Lt Boas led us most splendidly and did some excellent bayonet work."

Matthew Brown of the 13th Royal Irish Rifles wrote the following on 25th July 1916

"I'm sorry I cannot inform you as you would like, I saw the young Lt. before we mounted the parapet but never since. I heard some of the men in his platoon, those who returned safe, saying Lt Boas knocked a German to the ground with his fist and after that he was killed. They surely have saw it happen or they would not say that I know his platoon got badly cut up. Sir it may be wrong but I believe he is dead. The papers only reported him missing. It is hard, yes cruel to think of all I saw on that day. The Germans didn't take many prisoners they would rather kill. At one time I gave up all hope and when I think to day of July 1st its a mistory that I'm living. I am away from my Battn at present but when I get back I shall ask the lads who saw him, then I may be able to inform you much better."

Lance Corporal Watterson of the 13th Royal Irish the following on 8th August 1916 -

"Lt Boas was in A Company in command of 4th Platoon. I saw him in the 2nd line German trench at about 11am on July 1st. the platoons were all mixed up and we were attacking the enemy who were bombing us. We were using the bayonet. Lt Boas had a rifle and bayonet. I got wounded just as we reached the communication trench and did not see Lt Boas afterwards."

Ernest is commemorated in the Thiepval Memorial (Panel 15A and 15B), Somme, France.

Lieutenant Thomas Boston - died 25/12/1918

Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 10th Battalion

Thomas was born on 22nd January 1893, the son of John and Margaret Boston, of 76 The Mount, Mount Pottinger, Belfast. He was an adjutant in the South Derry Volunteers, Ulster Volunteer Force and served with the Royal inniskilling Fusiliers before transferring to the Machine Gun Corps.

Thomas was admitted to 88th General Hospital, Cairo on 15th December 1918, after three days of the symptoms of influenza. He died of pneumonia on Christmas Day, 1918, at the age of 25, and is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery (ref. Q220), Egypt.